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Nazi regime and Russia are Not on The Verge of War. They are Allies!

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Israel and Russia are Not on The Verge of War. They are Allies!

There are no circumstances under which Russia will go to war with Israel over Syria. Doing so would be wholly contrary to Russia’s policies and strategic interests.
 
Putin Netanyahu

The alternative media community, especially its social media iteration, is experiencing collective psychosis in hallucinating that “Israel” and Russia are on the verge of war with one another.

The prevailing narrative is that Israeli “Defense Minister” Lieberman’s threat to destroy Syria’s air defense systems is tantamount to a declaration of war against Russia, with the assumption being that Moscow is on a crusade against Zionism and has thus become Tel Aviv’s worst enemy.

There’s no diplomatic way to say this, but the presumptions on which such a crazy conclusion has been reached are absolutely and utterly wrong.

Far from being Israel’s hated nemesis like many in the alternative media community wishfully pretend that it is, Moscow is one of Tel Aviv’s closest allies, and this is entirely due to President Putin’s deliberate policies. Not only does he enjoy a very strong personal friendship with Netanyahu, but President Putin also sees a lot of opportunity to advance his country’s interests in Israel through the large Russian diaspora there.

Russia wants to compete with the US for influence in Israel for several interrelated reasons.

Firstly, Judaism is one of Russia’s four official religions as stipulated by the 1993 constitution, thus partially making Russia a “Jewish State” in the technical-legal sense. To be fair, though, Russia is also an Orthodox, Muslim, and Buddhist country too by the same measure.

Coupled with the Russian diaspora in Israel, Moscow seeks to leverage these religious-personal connections in order to acquire greater clout over the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which in turn would be expected to boost Russia’s global Great Power prestige (which is exceptionally important to its leadership).

As a “reward” for its positive involvement in helping to resolve this seemingly intractable issue, Russia might expect Israel to grant its state companies important contracts in building, servicing, and/or investing in any potential Eastern Mediterranean pipeline from the offshore Leviathan gas field to the EU, which would exponentially increase Moscow’s influence on the global energy market and consequently on world affairs in general.

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To be absolutely clear, I respectfully disagree with this approach for principled reasons, though I understand why Russia has embarked on it, and what it hopes to reap from its multifaceted engagement with Israel.

Returning to the current context and topic of this article, there’s no way whatsoever that Russia would ever even consider lobbying a volley of nuclear missiles at Israel no matter what Netanyahu does in Syria, even if he delivers on his government’s threats to destroy the country’s air defense systems.

In such a frightful scenario, Russia would assuredly issue a sharp diplomatic rebuke against Israel and probably take symbolic measures to express its disapproval, but it won’t ever preemptively intervene and stop Israeli jets from bombing Syria because its mandate is strictly to fight terrorism, and not defend Syria’s borders from outside state aggression.

Moreover, it’s an open fact that Russia and Israel have established mechanisms to coordinate their military action in Syria so as to avoid inadvertent clashes, which is hardly the behaviour that anyone would expect from two parties on the brink of an all-out nuclear exchange against each other.

Let’s face it — Russia and Israel are high-level and comprehensive strategic allies with one another, though this by no means signifies that Moscow is incapable of “balancing” its relations between Tel Aviv and Damascus.

In fact, it’s this very tricky diplomatic “balancing act” which might actually be somewhat restraining Israel from taking more aggressive action in Syria, as it understands that there’s a certain limit to what it can do and “get away with” before it overly embarrasses Russia and negatively impacts on bilateral relationships.

Everyone knows that Russia has deployed S-400 air defense missiles in Syria, and this fact was reported on with much fanfare and enthusiasm in the alternative media community, both through its professional outlets and on social media. Many people naively assumed that this would put a stop to Israel’s occasional strikes in Syria, yet several high-profile ones have occurred in the time since, in spite of the presence of the S-400s.

This can only be interpreted as proof that Russia has no desire to overstep its anti-terrorism mandate and defend Syria’s external borders, nor would it even want that heavy responsibility if Damascus offered it.

In addition, the fact that these strikes happened without any noticeable interference from the Russian side can be taken as visible confirmation that the mechanisms earlier described between Moscow and Tel Aviv are working properly in avoiding any inadvertent clashes between the two sides.

This does not mean, however, that Russia condones Israel’s illegal military activity in Syria (especially its latest bombing), but just that it passively stands by and chooses time and again to avoid becoming involved in what Moscow sees as a strictly bilateral issue between Tel Aviv and Damascus.

Nevertheless, a blatant act of state-on-state aggression such as attempting to obliterate Syria’s nationwide anti-air defense systems wouldn’t be tolerated by Russia, and would probably compel President Putin to freeze relations with “Israel” due to the unacceptable diplomatic embarrassment that Netanyahu would have inflicted on Moscow.

Netanyahu, for his part, is keenly aware of the limits of what he can and cannot do in Syria without risking Russia’s genuine ire, so it is extremely unlikely that he will carry through on his Defense Minister’s threat. That being said, however, Israel — being the quintessential rogue state that it is — might backstab Russia by doing this anyhow so long as its leadership believes that the “cost-benefit” calculation “justifies” such action.

The only realistic scenario for that to happen would be if Israel was convinced — whether “rightly” or wrongly — that Iranian and Hezbollah activity in Syria posed an “imminent threat” to its interests that would surpass any perceived indirect negotiating/”balancing” benefits vis-a-vis these parties that Tel Aviv’s alliance with Moscow provides.

It’s been speculated that Russia is very understanding of Israel’s concerns about Iran and Hezbollah in Syria, and that Moscow might even be discretely pressing for Damascus to draw up a “face-saving” plan for ensuring these forces’ post-war withdrawal from the country, so if that’s the case, then Israel has no reason to further escalate its aggression against Syria under the false pretexts of combating these two Resistance actors.

The fact that Tel Aviv issued its latest threats, however, indicate that this speculation might not be entirely true, since it would logically follow that any successful Russian efforts on this front would negate whatever “reason” Israel might have for jeopardizing its mutually advantageous alliance with Moscow.

Another possible explanation might be that Syria doesn’t agree with Russia’s rumored suggestions in this respect and therefore isn’t going along with them, which from Tel Aviv’s perspective might cause it to recalculate that its alliance with Moscow is disposable because it has failed to bear fruit on one of its most important fronts.

Much more likely, however, is that there isn’t any secret Russian-Israeli understanding to conspire against Iran and Hezbollah’s post-war presence in Syria, and that Israel’s latest threat was issued independently of its relationship with Russia, though of course only time will tell what the truth really is.

To get back to the topical issue at hand, any large-scale state-to-state attack that Israel might launch against Syria probably wouldn’t be stopped by Russia, but it would definitely ruin the relationship between Moscow and Tel Aviv. Russia isn’t going to go to war against Israel for the sake of saving Syria and formally going beyond its specific mandate, no matter how much millions of people might wish that it would under those circumstances.

Even so, Russia is a proud and dignified civilization-state which won’t accept the global humiliation that would ensue from passively allowing such a massive aggression to occur under its watch, despite it legally not being Russia’s responsibility to protect Syria’s external borders or to prevent state aggression against its military, which is why it would be forced to freeze all ties with Israel in response.

In that scenario, Russia’s “balancing” policy would come to an abrupt end and Moscow might reactively realign its regional priorities with the Resistance Bloc of Iran and Hezbollah instead of remaining “impartial” like it currently is, though still taking care not to do anything which could be perceived as stoking Israel’s paranoia that Russia might also be in the process of becoming a “threat” to it too.

To wrap everything up, no realistic case can be argued that Russia is on the verge of war with Israel. Historical facts such as the unprecedented Russian-Israeli Strategic Partnership, the public existence of bilateral military coordination mechanisms in Syria, and the sincere personal friendship between President Putin and Netanyahu, categorically disprove any such claims.

While it might be “fashionable” to pretend that Russia is opposed to Israel, that’s simply not true at all, no matter how much people in the alternative media community might deeply wish for it to be so. Even in the disastrous event that Israel decides to launch an all-out conventional attack against Syria and escalate its presently ongoing Yinon Plan of divide-and-rule “Arab Spring” Hybrid War into something much larger, there’s no way that Russia would intervene, although it would clearly be displeased and would have to take appropriate diplomatic countermeasures in order to save its prestige.

The bottom line is that supporters of the Syrian Arab Republic mustn’t let their optimistic well wishing desires cloud their analytical judgment and objective appraisal of reality, because failure to do so will only result in the creation of an alternative universe totally divorced from the world in which we truly live.

And that, folks, leads to legitimately “fake news” such as the hysterical claims that Russia is about to go to war with Israel.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Russia0 Comments

Yuan Clearing Bank Opens in Moscow as Russia, China Dump Dollar in Bilateral Trade

NOVANEWS

Russia and China accelerate local currency cooperation

 
Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping

Moscow and Beijing took another step towards de-dollarization with the announcement of the opening of a renminbi clearing bank in Russia on Wednesday. 

Local currency transactions were first used in both countries’ border regions. Today, more and more Chinese and Russian financial institutes and enterprises are using local currencies to invest and settle accounts, as the yuan-ruble trade platform is becoming more established and the transaction network is expanding amid deepening China-Russia economic and financial cooperation.

goodbye dollar, hello renminbi

The yuan clearing bank in Moscow will greatly accelerate trade in local currencies:

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) officially started operating as a Chinese renminbi (CNY) clearing bank in Russia Wednesday, a move set to facilitate the use of the currency and cooperation in various fields between the two countries.

“Under the guidance of the governments and central banks of both countries, ICBC’s Moscow branch will effectively fulfill its responsibility and obligation as a renminbi clearing bank by taking further advantage of its leading edge in renminbi businesses, providing customers with safe, high quality and convenient clearing services,” said Hu Hao, ICBC’s deputy governor, at the opening ceremony.

“Financial regulatory authorities of China and Russia have signed a series of major agreements, which marks a new level of financial cooperation,” said Dmitry Skobelkin, deputy governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

“The launching of renminbi clearing services in Russia will further expand local settlement business and promote financial cooperation between the two countries,” the official added.

With the continuous deepening of the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in recent years, the two countries are now starting to enhance local currency cooperation.

At the end of 2015, the Russian central bank announced the inclusion of the renminbi in its national foreign exchange reserves, making it Russia’s officially recognized reserve currency.

During Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s visit to China in June last year, the central banks of the two countries signed a memorandum of cooperation in starting renminbi clearing services in Russia, just three months before ICBC’s Moscow branch was appointed by China’s central bank as the clearing house for settling renminbi transactions there.

It’s no secret that Russia and China have employed a number of methods to slowly wean themselves off dollar dependency.

Russia became China’s largest energy exporter in February of last year after it agreed to accept payment in yuan.

The dollar is slowly losing its privileged place in international transactions.

We’re sure Washington is less than thrilled.

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‘Unlike any city we’ve ever seen’: New images of Stalin-era

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‘Unlike any city we’ve ever seen’: New images of Stalin-era Moscow released from US ‘spy’ archive

‘Unlike any city we’ve ever seen’: New images of Stalin-era Moscow released from US ‘spy’ archive
More uncensored photos and videos from the archive of Major Martin Manhoff, a US embassy official in the USSR who was expelled for spying, have been released, providing a look at Moscow from an era when the Iron Curtain was at its most impenetrable.

For the first time, the released artifacts, which were discovered in a Seattle attic by historian Douglas Smith decades after Manhoff’s death, include not just images, but the forthright first-hand observations of the diplomat’s wife, Jan.

© Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Unique, uncensored color footage of Stalin’s funeral shot by US diplomat unearthed (VIDEO)

“The whole culture and physical picture is so foreign to anything upon which we can build comparison that it becomes almost impossible. It is like an initiation into a life that is too unique to make sense anywhere else,” Jan wrote in a letter home in September 1952, months after arriving in the Soviet capital.

Manhoff’s posting coincided with the tumultuous ambassadorship of George F. Kennan, the author of the famed Long Telegram and de-factor architect of Washington’s containment policy towards the USSR. Kennan was booted out in September of 1952, just six months into his role, for comparing living in the Soviet city with his imprisonment by the Nazis.

Jan’s letters testify to the frustrations of being a foreigner and representative of an arch-nemesis in a totalitarian state.

“We can drive nowhere except around Moscow proper. And even in Moscow we are not allowed to drive our own car, but must use a Russian chauffeur at all times. We have never been inside a Russian home nor can ever expect to be,” she complains in one letter, which, like the rest of the archive, is being published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“One very seldom hears in this country what one can do. It is always what you are not allowed to do,” she writes in another.

Yet despite these apparent restrictions, her husband was determined enough to capture plenty of footage, both from the balcony of the US embassy – where he filmed the funeral of Joseph Stalin in 1953 – and various other vantage points around the city.

Many of his photographs show uncensored candid street scenes, but the recently-released video also gives insight into a country that was still changing rapidly.

Temporary barracks and crumbling houses with blown-out windows, likely not replaced since World War II, and washing lines hanging outside are shot next to the construction sites of the Seven Sisters, the iconic Soviet-style high-rises that were built in just six years, between 1947 and 1953, and continue to define Moscow’s skyline today.

Photograph from Martin Manhoff archive, used with the permission of Douglas Smith / Facebook

“Moscow is unlike any city we have ever seen. It is neither Western, Eastern, or European. Most of the architecture is eighteenth and nineteenth century eclectic, while practically all the new buildings, the ‘Moscow skyscrapers’ are like New York’s,” writes Jan.

“But amongst all this are great numbers of two and three, and one story log buildings. Most are covered with a facing of plaster on lath so that the log construction is not apparent except where the plaster has fallen off. As confusing as this sounds is as confusing as it is to attempt to describe Moscow,” she wrote.

With his talent for producing photos and steady footage with his high-quality cameras, it can be speculated that Manhoff was recruited for his ability to take more than just tourist snaps, which may have attracted unwanted attention from his security handlers.

In any case, it was a trove of documents allegedly discovered abandoned on a train that led to his expulsion along with three other diplomats in 1954. Douglas Smith has promised to shed more light on this still-mysterious incident in a future release from the archive, scheduled for April.

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Russia Deploys Bastion Coastal Defense Missile Systems

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Russia Deploys Bastion Coastal Defense Missile Systems On Kuril Islands Deploys Bastion Coastal Defense Missile Systems On Kuril Islands

The Bastion (NATO reporting name: SS-C-5 Stooge) coastal defense missile battalions recently stationed on the Kuril Islands shall defend Russia’s territorial waters, straits and naval bases in the region, according to the Izvestia daily.

The Russian Defense Ministry has deployed Bal (SS-C-6 Sennight) and Bastion antiship missile systems on Iturup and Kunashir. They will beef up the defenses of the naval bases and on-shore infrastructure. In expert opinion, the advanced missile systems in the region indicate the Russian Federation’s resolve to retain the territory.

The Bastion coastal defense missile system developed and made by NPOMash in the town of Reutov eliminates surface ships and land threats at a range of 300-500 km. Until recently, it has been believed to be effective against ships alone. However, the advanced missile system took out several land targets in Syria on November 15, 2016 as part of the surgical strike delivered by the Russian Navy. The Kh-35 (AS-20 Kayak) missile-equipped Bal system from the Tactical Missiles Corporation deals with surface targets out to 300 km or so.

According to the Boyevaya Vakhta daily, the official newspaper of the Pacific Fleet, a reinforced Bastion battalion has gone on alert duty on Iturup Island, while a Bal battalion has set up shop on Kunashir nearby. Both units are organic to the 72nd Coastal Defense Missile Brigade activated in 2014.

According to NPOMash, a Bastion battalion includes eight launchers on the MZKT-7930 high-mobility chassis. Each launcher carries two Oniks (SS-N-26 Strobile) supersonic missiles ready for launch on warning. There also are launcher-loaders with reloads.

According to the Tactical Missiles Corporation’s website, the table of organization and equipment of the Bal battalion resembled that of the Bastion battalion much. However, each Bal launcher has eight missiles for the enemy, rather than two.

Expert Dmitry Boltenkov reminds that coastal defense missile battalions were stationed on the Kurils in Soviet times.

“Units equipped with the Redut [SS-C-1 Sepal] and Rubezh [SS-C-3 Styx] antiship systems were stationed on the Kuril Islands in the 1980s,” Boltenkov says, “specifically at Simushir and Iturup. However, they were withdrawn from the islands and disbanded in the earlier 1990s.”

According to former Russian Ambassador to Japan Alexander Panov, Russia’s reinforcement of its Kurils-based forces is a signal of its resolution to retain the southern Kurils, presumably.

“Most probably, the Japanese will turn the blind eye to the Russian Federation’s steps, because there have been positive dynamics in the bilateral relations,” the diplomat says. “No one needs a row. It is possible, however, that they will ask for an explanation of the military build-up via the diplomatic channels. Tokyo is quite content with the status quo.”

Panov stressed that the dynamics of the Russian-Japanese relations have been very positive.

“Premier Abe has a good strategic view and realizes that Japan should become more independent and needs close partnership with the Russian Federation for this purpose,” the expert tells the Izvestia daily. “This will allow offsetting the growing influence of China and ensure an economic growth through cooperation with the Russian Far East.”

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Netanyahu levels possible threat at Putin; Moscow summons Israeli ambassador

NOVANEWS

Image result for Netanyahu CARTOON

By Adam Garrie | The Duran 

Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu has emerged after an illegal Israeli air strike on Syrian troops in Palmyra. In his statement, he predictably disregarded international law, but he also made what can only be described as a thinly veiled threat against Russia.

The Israeli leader claimed he was targeting Syrian allied Hezbollah fighters but in reality, it is almost certain the strike hit Syrian Arab Army regulars.

He went on to say,

That’s how we’ve acted and how we will continue to act… and everyone needs to take this into account. Everyone!

Just who could ‘everyone’ imply. Could the Israeli leader be threatening Russia?

It seems that he is.

Russia has been a consistent ally of the Syrian Arab Republic in her war against terrorism. Israel, which has been an enemy of Syria since the 1940s, is deeply desirous for regime change in one of the few Arab states left, which still pursues an independent foreign policy, one which is openly pro-Palestine.

As a result of Netanyahu’s provocative remarks, Moscow summoned the Israeli Ambassador to Russia to clarify the remarks. Russia is in a unique position as a power that is an ally of Syria, a traditional friend of Palestine, but also a power that Israel listens to and does not want to overtly upset.

Indeed, Netanyahu was in Moscow just over a week ago. If Israel thinks it is in a position to provoke Russia and threaten Russia into changing its established policy in Syria, they really ought to think again.

One must remain hopeful that the Israeli Ambassador got a stern warning from Russia, something along the lines of, ‘stay out of Syria and stay out of our business in Syria as a legal partner of Damascus’.

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Nazi regime seeks pound of flesh in Syria, ‘nyet’ is the answer

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Image result for Netanyahu’ CARTOON
Israel seeks pound of flesh in Syria, ‘nyet’ is the answer
By M K Bhadrakumar 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ‘working visit’ to Moscow last week had a key objective relating to the conflict in Syria — a demarche at the highest level with President Vladimir Putin over Iranian presence in that country. Before emplaning for Moscow, Netanyahu told his cabinet in public remarks,

  • In the framework of a (future peace agreement) or without one, Iran is attempting to base itself permanently in Syria – either through a military presence on the ground or a naval presence – and also through a gradual attempt to open a front against us on the Golan Heights. I will express to President Putin Israel’s vigorous opposition to this possibility.

In characteristic style, he cornered Putin in his very opening statement as they sat down in the Kremlin,

  • One of the things that unites us (Israel and Russia) is our common fight against radical Islamic terrorism. Substantial progress has been made over the last year in fighting radical Sunni Islamic terrorism led by ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and Russia has made a great contribution to this result and this progress. Of course, we do not want to see Shia Islamic terrorism led by Iran step in to replace Sunni Islamic terrorism.

The Russian readout faithfully quoted Netanyahu but left out Putin’s brusque response. The Kremlin later chose to convey via an RT report,

  • Putin noted that those events had taken place “in the fifth century BC,” added that “we now live in a different world” and suggested discussing the actual up-to-date problems in the region.

In short, Putin urged Netanyahu to get real instead of digging up the ancient legend of an Iranian forefather’s attempt to eradicate the Jewish people. (RT) The Russians are familiar with Netanyahu’s style of functioning — his swagger and capacity to dissimulate. He was obviously hoping to complicate the Russian-Iranian relationship at a time when Moscow and Tehran are working to put together a Syrian settlement. Evidently, Putin saw through the ploy. (Moscow is preparing for an official visit by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.)

Netanyahu keeps playing up the Iran bogey to divert attention away from the Palestine problem. However, importantly in the current context, Israel wants a say in the Syrian settlement. Israel’s motivations here are complex.

Israel’s preference is that the al-Qaeda affiliates fighting in Syria, who are its proxies, should be allowed to retain the swathe of land straddling the occupied Golan Heights so that its annexation of the Syrian territory remains unchallenged.

Russia simply will not acquiesce with the presence of any al-Qaeda affiliate in any residual form on Syrian soil. In fact, Jordan is involved in talks with Russia, which appears to be geared to battle plans under preparation to evict the Islamic State and the al-Qaeda from the Jordan-Israel-Lebanon borderline. Israel is getting frantic that the Russian-Iranian juggernaut proposes to put its al-Qaeda surrogates shortly into the meat grinder.

The alliance with Iran becomes vital for Russia in the coming weeks and months before a complete destruction of terrorist groups on Syrian soil is achieved and the peace process reaches the home stretch. However, this does not mean that Russian-Iranian relationship is smooth as silk. There strong convergence of interests at this point, but, as Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour said on Saturday in Tehran,

  • We will interact with the Russians to the extent that they cooperate with us and we will not be willing to cooperate with them when they are not willing to do so.

The two countries have their respective long-term objectives and agenda in a future Syrian settlement. Clearly, the Syria that emerges in a settlement can very well be a federated country. The US seems to be working toward a federal Syria and Russia may live with it as the realistic outcome of the brutal conflict. Thus, both US and Russia have dealings with Syrian Kurds whose top priority is the establishment of a Kurdish autonomous region in northern Syria bordering Turkey.

Now, it is entirely conceivable that a federal Syria may overlap the ‘spheres of influence’ of foreign powers. Without doubt, the US intends to keep the military bases it has established in the two Kurdish cantons on the eastern part of the Euphrates in the recent years. Russia too has a big presence along western regions of Syria facing the Mediterranean coast and in the Damascus region. The Russian bases in Latakia and Hmeimim in Syria are on permanent footing.

Therefore, how the emergent scenario of federal Syria would grate on the Russian-Iranian relationship remains a ‘known unknown’. After all, Iran made huge sacrifices to defeat Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria. A report last week put the casualty figures of Iranians killed in the fighting as exceeding 2000 military personnel.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Iran, Russia, Syria0 Comments

State Department Urges Coroner to Keep Russian UN Ambassador’s Cause-Of-Death Secret

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United_States_Department_of_Defense_Seal.svg_

Following the unexpected death of 65-year-old Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin, conspiracy theorists were stirred up as the ongoing Russophobic Deep State war combined with the deaths of nine Russian diplomats in the last year raised many coincident-questioning eyebrows. Now, as The Hill reports, pouring further fuel on that fire, the State Department asked the New York Medical Examiner not to publicly release information about Churkin’s cause of death.

“In order to comply with international law and protocol, the New York City Law Department has instructed the Office of Chief Medical Examiner to not publicly disclose the cause and manner of death of Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations,”  Office of Chief Medical Examiner spokesman Julie Bolcer said, according to New York Times reporter Michael Grynbaum.

As outlined in formal requests from the United States Department of State, Ambassador Churkin’s diplomatic immunity survives his death. Further questions concerning this matter should be directed to the United States Department of State.

Initial reports suggested that there was no foul play involved in the incident and that Churkin died from cardiac arrest, but, as a reminder, Churkin was not alone among Russian diplomats who died of ‘heart attacks’:

1. You probably remember Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov — he was assassinated by a police officer at a photo exhibit in Ankara on December 19.

2. On the same day, another diplomat, Peter Polshikov, was shot dead in his Moscow apartment. The gun was found under the bathroom sink but the circumstances of the death were under investigation. Polshikov served as a senior figure in the Latin American department of the Foreign Ministry.

3. Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York this past week. Churkin was rushed to the hospital from his office at Russia’s UN mission. Initial reports said he suffered a heart attack, and the medical examiner is investigating the death, according to CBS.

4. Russia’s Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, died after a “brief illness January 27, which The Hindu said he had been suffering from for a few weeks.

5. Russian Consul in Athens, Greece, Andrei Malanin, was found dead in his apartment January 9. A Greek police official said there was “no evidence of a break-in.” But Malanin lived on a heavily guarded street. The cause of death needed further investigation, per an AFP report. Malanin served during a time of easing relations between Greece and Russia when Greece was increasingly critiqued by the EU and NATO.

6. Ex-KGB chief Oleg Erovinkin, who was suspected of helping draft the Trump dossier, was found dead in the back of his car December 26, according to The Telegraph. Erovinkin also was an aide to former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, who now heads up state-owned Rosneft.

If we go back further than 60 days…

7. On the morning of U.S. Election Day, Russian diplomat Sergei Krivov was found unconscious at the Russian Consulate in New York and died on the scene. Initial reports said Krivov fell from the roof and had blunt force injuries, but Russian officials said he died from a heart attack. BuzzFeed reports Krivov may have been a Consular Duty Commander, which would have put him in charge of preventing sabotage or espionage.

8. In November 2015, a senior adviser to Putin, Mikhail Lesin, who was also the founder of the media company RT, was found dead in a Washington hotel room according to the NYT. The Russian media said it was a “heart attack,” but the medical examiner said it was “blunt force injuries.”

9. If you go back a few months prior in September 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s driver was killed too in a freak car accident while driving the Russian President’s official black BMW  to add to the insanity.

If you include these three additional deaths that’s a total of nine Russian officials that have died over the past 2 years that WeAreChange.com’s Aaron Kesel knows of – he notes there could be more.

*  *  *

So why is the State Department now trying to keep Churkin’s cause of death from the public?

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The Russian Scare

NOVANEWS
By Israel Shamir
russia-usa

Full disclosure: I’ve met with Russians. I met with a Russian this morning. She brought me coffee. Such crazy and dangerous things can occur in Moscow. I am afraid the CIA and NSA could take notice of this meeting, and then it can be used – even against you. “You have perused an article by Israel Shamir. Were you aware he had Russian contacts?”

Though I am not too young, this is the first time I have witnessed such a witch-hunt. In Russia, there are many foreigners, Europeans and Americans as well, and Russians mingle with them freely, with no fear. The Russians are not afraid to meet with the US Ambassador; they are rather proud of the occasion. When the US Ambassador throws a party or holds a reception, all who-is-who in Moscow come to Spaso-House, the residence.

Even in Stalin’s days, the Russians went to the reception, and Mikhail Bulgakov depicted such a reception as Satan’s ball in his Master and Margarita. In recent years, all Russian opposition figures have visited the US ambassador and had had hearty chats with him.

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Not only in Russia. The Wikileaks-published State Department cables describe hundreds of meetings between US Ambassadors and opposition figures all over the world. Amazingly, nowhere was such a meeting considered as a breach of national security and an incapacitating blemish on an opposition leader.

Well, probably in light of the Russian scare, nations should enact laws forbidding a person who had met with the US ambassador from occupying any public position or running for election. They could call it the Flynn Law, in the spirit of reciprocity.

The US political class has brought this calamity upon itself. If whoever met the Russian ambassador or a Russian government minister, or the Russian president (God forbid) is unsuitable for governing, the whole top layer of American politicians would be disqualified. Last year even Jill Stein, the super-kosher woman of the US politics, the Green Party candidate for president, visited Moscow and had a place at the table with Putin, before flying back and asking to recount the Wisconsin vote.

The Russians watch the new witch-hunt over the ocean with mild surprise. They did not know they were so formidable, so scary. Nor did I. I can list Russia’s faults from today till next Christmas – it is a country of terrible bureaucracy, of impossible laws, of annoying police, of huge social gaps, of harsh weather and bad roads – but I do not know of a single reason for considering Russia a threat to anybody. The Russians are keen to accept international law, they believe in national sovereignty, they do not tell other states how they should manage their civic life or do business. And they do not meddle in other states’ affairs, though it would be better if they did.

When in February 2014, Ms Nuland, then of the US State Department (the ‘F*ck the EU’ lady mercifully lost her job with ascent of Trump) and the US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt stoked the Maidan fire and doled out cookies in Kiev, the Russian Ambassador in Kiev made himself scarce. Perhaps he went to play golf. Not a single Russian political figure had bothered to go to Kiev and talk to people. Russian non-interference in the Ukraine’s affairs had been so scrupulous, as if the Ukraine were a remote Latin American state of little interest to Russians.

That fateful February three years ago, the only thing in which the Russians had interested were the Sochi Olympic Games. Kiev burned, but they discussed the biathlon. Biathlon, forsooth! The governors of Ukraine provinces asked Moscow whether it would come to save the day of the legitimate government, but in Moscow nobody picked up the receiver. On February 22, 2014, when the president Yanukovych escaped Kiev and went to Kharkov for meetings with the leaders of the Eastern Ukraine, the Russians could have established the legitimate government in Kharkov and at least split the Ukraine into two halves, with very little effort. But they did not show up and they did not say they would support such a government, and the people of Ukraine accepted the Kiev putsch.

If Putin were just slightly similar to the fire-breathing image of himself in the Western media, the Ukraine would be a Western province of Russia, as it had been for the last four hundred years, and it could have been done legally, without firing a single shot. But Vladimir Putin is not Vlad the Terrible of your comic strips. He is a great procrastinator, a man who will do nothing if possible. He goes into action only if there is no way to postpone it. He took the Crimea, or rather accepted the Crimeans’ demand to join Russia, as he (correctly) thought his people would not forgive him for surrendering the peninsula with its main fleet base to NATO and the Russian population to the tender mercy of ferociously anti-Russian Western Ukrainian gangs.

My old Israeli friend and Russia watcher, Yakov Kedmi, the former head of an Israeli intelligence service, predicted in April 2014 that the Russian army would take East and South Ukraine before the May 2014 presidential elections in Ukraine. I dismissed that as a pipe dream. Putin will do nothing if he is given half a chance. I was right.

Putin acted in Georgia in 2008 only after his peace-keeping troops had been attacked by the NATO-trained troops of President Saakashvili, who famously said his army would take Moscow in a fortnight. Even then he did not take Tbilisi the capital, but quietly pulled his troops back.

Even such provocations as the removal of Russian war-time graves and memorials, as stripping ethnic Russians of their citizenship rights in the Baltics, did not force his hand.

The last thing he wanted was to quarrel with the United States. He approved of the US invasion of Afghanistan and opened his territory for the transit of the US troops and weapons. He approved the resolutions on Iraq before the US invasion; he spoke against the invasion only in tandem with France and Germany. He agreed (rather, abstained) on the West-sponsored resolution on Libya leading to the murder of Colonel Gadhafi. He gave up the Russian bases in Vietnam and Cuba. He withdrew his troops from Tarsus, his only naval base in Syria, and returned to Syria only in face of an imminent American attack on the sovereign state, at request of its legitimate leader.

The Western media presents Russia as a ferocious Rottweiler, and the Russians do not recognise themselves in the mirror of the Western media. Russia is a Newfoundland dog, not a Rottweiler. It is big, strong, peaceful and not aggressive. I know, I have had Newfoundlands. Even a very nasty cat can’t wake up their fighting spirit.

Ideologically, Putin’s Russia is not all that different from the West. March 8, Women’s Day, is an official holiday in Russia, and Russian women have all the rights their Western sisters have, or even dream of. Russian billionaires are free to build the biggest yachts in the known universe. They pay as little taxes as anybody, a flat income tax rate of 13%. Even Trump is unlikely to beat that.

Communism is dead, and the official propaganda machine daily tells Russians that the Soviet days were dreadful, in spite of the living generation’s tender memories of Soviet equality. Communists have no access to the mass media, despite being the second biggest party in Russia.

The small and unpopular pro-Western (say, Clintonesque) opposition receives a lot of government support. They are allowed to demonstrate, they have a TV and newspapers, while anti-Western opposition, whether Trumpist or Communist, has been kept in the cold, without demos and only marginal media.

White nationalists, a small band, are being jailed at the first anti-Semitic jibe. Jeremy Bedford-Turner of Russia would have been in jail a long time ago. Moscow has 92 synagogues for less than a thousand practicing Jews – they are staffed and manned by the imported American Rabbis of Habad. Best and the choicest pieces of Russian municipal land are given to synagogues and Jewish cultural centres for free.

Article 282 of the Russian Penal Code is as strict as ADL or SPLC activists would dream of. A big part of Unz.com articles, if published in Russia, would send their authors to jail. Russia has millions of immigrants; it is actually the third country in the world by the number of accepted immigrants. The majority of them are Muslim. Moscow has one of the biggest mosques in the world. Russia has a visa-free arrangement with many Muslim countries.

Russia’s connection with the Alt-Right is a figment of the imagination. The Alt-Right has its Russian counterpart, the well-known philosopher and student of Heidegger, Alexander Dugin and his followers. They are faring worse than the Alt-Right in the West. Dugin is often presented as “Putin’s adviser”, but he has never so much as met Putin tête-à-tête. Dugin supports Putin, but Putin does not support Dugin. The philosopher has been pushed out of Moscow State University, landed in a marginal internet TV channel, and it is rumoured he is even being pushed out of that channel. His views are less acceptable in Russia than those of Bannon are in the US.

RT, the Russian TV channel, news agency and site, is always cautious, like the BBC. Recently, an Alt-Right American of Russian origin, Nina Kouprianova, whose witty twitter has many followers, far from being a “Moscow Mouthpiece”, as the beastly Daily Beast claimed, had her articles removed from the RT site. Her full-blooded support for Putin did not help her at all. Dugin is not a frequent guest in the RT, or on any major Russian channel.

On the positive side, there is freedom of speech “like in the West”, and attacks on Putin and his Prime Minister Medvedev are a daily routine in the Russian media and in social networks. Just now a short documentary by Mr Navalny accusing Medvedev of corruption has received its six million views. Millions of Russians use Facebook, where Mr Mark Zuckerberg teaches them what can be said in the polite society and what can’t.

In short, sorry to disappoint you, Russia is wonderful, but it is not an enemy of the West even in its Obama-Clinton version. It just wants to proceed with its own speed. It did not and does not want to interfere with your ideas.

The unlikely stories of Russian hackers influencing American voters can be laid to rest after publication of Vault 7, a vast collection of CIA hacking devices, in particular of its Umbrage. The CIA has created a “fingerprint” that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.

Wikileaks explained: “This is analogous to finding the same distinctive knife wound on multiple separate murder victims. The unique wounding style creates suspicion that a single murderer is responsible. As soon one murder in the set is solved then the other murders also find likely attribution. The CIA’s Remote Devices Branch’s UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation. With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from”.

So much about “Russian fingerprints” allegedly found in the DNC email leak and other Trump-related leaks! Indeed there is not and can’t be any proof of who hacked what, but the presumption is that if some proofs are presented, they were made up by the CIA.

And this leads us to the real villain of the story, the US intelligence community. It became so powerful that it decided to lead the country, the US, and the world, while keeping democratic institutions as a sham cover.

It is they, not timid Putin’s Russia, that is leading the world to its final Armageddon. It is they who organised the Russian Scare. Now we know that President Trump is the last defender of the dying democratic order, while his enemies in the mass media are CIA stooges.

As nobody likes to be manipulated, I’ll tell you, American voters. You weren’t manipulated by the Russians. The other way round, you are the freest people in the world, and you had and used the unique opportunity to save your country and the entire world from being taken over by spooks. This job is far from over, and there is nobody who will do it for you, certainly not the Russian president.

Now, armed by this knowledge, you can support your president and disregard the CIA-produced propaganda. Now we have no doubt that the President Obama indeed listened and read every word said or written by Donald Trump and in his vicinity. Now we have no doubt that the mass media is just another hacking tool in the CIA collection created to hack the most precious computers: your minds and your hearts.

Posted in Russia0 Comments

‘We Must Have Control of the Sea’: Ex-NATO Chiefs Urge North Atlantic Build-Up

NOVANEWS
The UK Ministry of defence
A new report calling on NATO to increase its presence in the North Atlantic Ocean in response to Russia’s growing military strength is a baseless attempt to spread fear, Nikolai Topornin told Radio Sputnik.
A new report published by the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank calls on NATO to reinforce its naval activity in the North Atlantic, citing the increasing strength of the Russian navy, in particular the Northern Fleet.The report, which contains chapters written by former NATO commanders James Stavridis and Philip Breedlove, recommends that NATO extend its naval presence in the North Atlantic too.

Breedlove expressed concern that Russia has developed “offensive long-range, high-precision capabilities and is building high-end maritime capabilities that could deny NATO members freedom of maneuver at sea,Stars and Stripes reported

“As we look to the future we need to think more broadly and to re-emphasize the maritime domain. NATO must put the North Atlantic Ocean back on its agenda. We must have command of the sea,” Breedlove wrote.

Breedlove, a four-star United States Air Force General who retired as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe last year, is a known war hawk. He has previously called for NATO to increase its military presence in Europe and for the US to supply lethal weapons to Kiev to use in eastern Ukraine.

Nikolai Topornin, an associate professor of European Law at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Moscow State Institute of International Relations, told Radio Sputnik that the latest report is another attempt to whip up anti-Russian hysteria with the aim of increasing NATO’s naval presence.

“All work is paid for, and this report is no exception. How objective it is and the competency of the person who prepared it is another issue. It’s one thing if he has tried to give an objective picture, but if he wanted to spread some fear and think up some stories, that’s quite another and it seems to me that in this case, it’s most likely the second one,” Topornin said.

“The man has simply set himself the task of telling everyone that Russia was violating some kind of strategic standards, is strengthening its military presence, including naval and may constitute some kind of threat,” Topornin told Radio Sputnik.

An increased naval presence in the North Atlantic Ocean would add to NATO’s increased land presence at Russia’s western borders.

In January, the US transferred its largest contingent of troops and military equipment to Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.

In addition, on February 16 NATO defense chiefs approved the intensification of training exercises and drills in the Black Sea and greater co-ordination between national navies and the permanent NATO task force in the region.

Posted in USA, Europe, Russia0 Comments

Why Russia, Iran Are Frozen Out of Anti-Daesh Meeting in US

NOVANEWS
Commenting on the news that neither Russia, nor Iran, two key countries in the fight against Daesh, have been invited to the anti-Daesh meeting of 68 countries to be hosted by the US, Russian political analysts suggested that the coalition wants to downgrade their roles and is reluctant to share any success with the two states.
Washington is set to host a ministerial meeting of 68 US-led coalition nations fighting against Daesh (Islamic State/ ISIS) on March 22-23.
However two key players in the region actively fighting against the jihadists, Russia and Iran, have not been invited to the gathering because, according to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “they’re not part of the global coalition.”

Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov commented that it is quite possible to discuss the fight against Daesh without Russia’s participation, but it is impossible to defeat them without Russia.

Meanwhile, Semyon Bagdasarov, Head of the Center for Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies suggested that Russia has not been invited in order to show that it does not play any role in the fight against the terrorists, however this is far from true, to put it mildly.

In his interview with Russia’s online newspaper Vzglyad he suggested that this is part of the information against Russia, and it is set to continue in the future.

The political analyst also said that there are military operations currently being planned to liberate Mosul and Raqqa. If these offensives are successful, he suggested, the members of the coalition will claim all the success to themselves and will blame Russia for not doing enough in the fight.

The real aim, he then said, is not to “share the victory.” Trump, he said, is a tougher leader than Barack Obama hence he won’t make any concessions in the sharing of the victory.

Meanwhile, Evgeny Satanovsky, head of the Moscow-based Middle East Institute said that there are countries within the US-led coalition which are actually supporting the terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

“What anti-terrorist coalition can there be which includes Saudi Arabia and Qatar, when the first is financing al-Qaeda and the second – the Islamic State? What anti-terrorist fight could they be talking about sitting in the same very room with the sponsors of the terrorists, pretending that nobody understands and notices it?” he questioned.

He further recalled that these particular countries have been sending their money until the terrorists grew to such a number that Russia had to fly to Syria to fight with them.

The expert however added that, nevertheless, Washington is cooperating with Russia in Syria, recalling the recent meeting of Russian, Turkish and US military chiefs in Antalya.

On March 7, Turkey’s military chief of staff, General Hulusi Akar, was hosting a meeting with the heads of the US and Russian armed forces in the southern Turkish province of Antalya to discuss the Syrian conflict, among others.

“Why should Trump reveal that the US is cooperating with Russia? They have already been claiming that he, with the help of our hackers and our money has been elected president. Hence it would be suicide to initiate any official negotiations with Russia in the political arena,” he said, adding that meanwhile, the military of the two countries continue “cooperating closely and fruitfully.”

Posted in USA, Iran, Russia, Syria0 Comments

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